A history of the county told in its place names

A new book, which acts as a comprehensive guide to the origins of place names in Northumberland, is due to be published next month.

Sunday, 26th June 2016, 5:00 am

In Place Names and Field Names of Northumberland, Stan Beckensall explores what place names and field names mean, and how they can reveal an intimate part of our local history by linking us to the land they sign and socialise.

Northumberland has a rich legacy of such names, which can best be appreciated by close familiarity with the landscape.

The text explores a series of sites, which demonstrate how place names are derived and change over time.

This study is well supported by a wide range of illustrations ranging from photographs and documents to maps.

The detailed research undertaken by the author helps to ensure this is a comprehensive guide to the origins of places within the county.

And on a lighter note, the publishers suggest that if you find the following examples intriguing, you will enjoy the book: Grimping Haugh, Jill’s Arse, Little Sloshes, Boggle Hole, Shovelbread and Blowbutts.


Stan Beckensall has spent his working life in education, much of this in training teachers and being a headteacher in Northumberland.

He is an honours graduate of Keele University, an Honorary Doctor of Letters at Newcastle University, winner of the 2006 British Archaeology Award in the Channel 4 ITC section, a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London and Scotland, and an international specialist in prehistoric rock art.

He has published more than 40 books and pamphlets, including poetry and drama, and his work has been televised.

Place Names and Field Names of Northumberland, by Stan Beckensall, will be published on Thursday, July 28, by Fonthill Media.


The 160-page book, which is illustrated with the author’s own photographs, is priced at £18.99.